President Trump announced a soldier from the Utah National Guard will represent the US at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics this weekend.
Sgt. Shauna Rohbock, who has served 18 years in the Army National Guard, was named to the presidential delegation for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. She competed in 1999 for the sport of bobsled, winning a silver medal with partner Valerie Fleming in 2006 and taking 6th place with partner Michelle Rzepka in 2010. She also had several other career highlights in previous competitions.
Medals don’t make the athlete
The former winter Olympian is now a bobsled driving coach assisting Team USA in South Korea. She says Americans need to know Olympic success doesn’t rely solely on standing on that podium.
“Obviously, we haven’t been as successful as Sochi (2014 Winter Games), but that’s the funny thing is. I think America, they put success on gold, silver or bronze and when I was an athlete that was the hard thing. I know a lot of great athletes who went through sports and they never won a medal. They went through their career and never won a gold, silver or bronze, but in the end they’re amazing athletes. In the end, we have a lot of great athletes on this team and maybe they didn’t win those medals, but … they are amazing athletes and they’ve been easy to work with,” she told Reserve & National Guard Magazine.
Rohbock initially visited South Korea last March, touring a temple and the coast, along with experiencing some of the country’s cuisine – like Korean barbecue. But, during the current winter games team members have had little free time for sightseeing.
“It’s awesome. Obviously, a completely different culture. The people are so polite, I find them really polite and courteous from the children to the adults. It’s just been great. But being here during the Olympics I haven’t gotten to experience that (sightseeing),” she said.
Presidential delegation ‘a great honor’
As for being chosen for the presidential delegation, Rohbock says “it is a great honor”. She is required to attend some events and dinners with other delegates, which includes The Honorable James Risch, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism; Sarah Sanders, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary; General Vincent Brooks, Commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea; and Marc Knapper, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, U.S. Embassy Seoul. Ivanka Trump, assistant to the president and advisor, is leading the delegation on behalf of President Trump.
“I am honored to lead the U.S. delegation to the closing ceremonies of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. We look forward to congratulating Team USA and celebrating all that our athletes have achieved. Their talent, drive, grit and spirit embodies American excellence, and inspire us all,” Trump said in a press release.
Sgt. Rohbock is among several military members attached to Team USA. She sees several intersects between serving in a unit and being on a team.
“Being a part of a unit, it’s kind of like being part of a team. So, you have to communicate, you have to be resilient, and you have to do all those things that you would have to do in the military, so I think it’s one in the same. It goes hand-in-hand … I just feel like the two just run into each other. There’s a few other military personnel that are here, and when plans change – like they do – it’s easy for us to just deal with,” she said.
She added that she is looking forward to returning home and taking her two kids, ages 3 and 5, camping.